5 Steps to Income Through Innovation | A Primer on YOUR Thought Leadership
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This post is courtesy of Michele PW who is spearheading a Bold, Outrageous and somewhat Provocative stand in the Internet Marketing world. She’s also got a bit of a reputation for a being a lie-slayer in the video series she invites you to opt-in to watch at the end. Lie-slayer is a pretty cool name, Michele! Wish I thought of it. Enjoy.
Actually, not so much the wealthy part (although that’s important) but the Thought Leader part.
That’s actually the most important part. There are lots of ways to gain wealth, but if you haven’t gotten your head around calling yourself a Thought Leader, you’re never going to become a Wealthy Thought Leader.
One line of thinking is to just call yourself a Thought Leader and be done with it. And while that might work with some people it really didn’t work for me.
For me to truly step into my power and embrace being a Thought Leader, I had to get riled up. I had to see wrongs being committed and finally have enough. I had to tap into my passion for helping entrepreneurs everywhere and stop them from struggling needlessly with their business.
And THAT’S when I was finally able to embrace becoming a Thought Leader.
So what was this wrong that I am driven to make right? It’s this: Believing the lies about Internet Marketing and allowing those lies to destroy your passion for your business or maybe even your business itself.
Let me explain.
It is NOT easy to own your own business. In fact, all of you entrepreneurs reading this should stop and pat yourself on the back right now. (I mean it. Stop and pat yourself on the back. I don’t care how successful or unsuccessful you think you are — you’re doing it. You’ve chosen a path that can be scary and frustrating and risky but it also can bring you the BIGGEST rewards and the HIGHEST highs.)
So if owning a business is tough, why would you make it all that tougher on yourself by believing the “lies” out there about Internet Marketing?
You see, there are a lot of beliefs swirling around out there about Internet Marketing that are either half-truths, sort-of-true-but-you-don’t-know-the-whole-context or just an out-and-out lie.
The problem is you may not know what is REALLY true and what you only THINK is true.
Actually that’s not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is when you believe these half-truths or lies and then you blame YOURSELF when Internet Marketing doesn’t work for you.
THAT is the real cost of these lies. You blame yourself, the Universe, the economy, your products, etc. for what you PERCEIVE to be a failure. When, in actuality, it’s something else entirely. For instance:
- Maybe you’re using the wrong Internet Marketing strategy
- Maybe you’re using the right Internet Marketing strategy but you’re skipping some crucial steps because you don’t realize they’re crucial
- Maybe your expectations are wrong (maybe you’re more of a success than you realize!)
- Or it’s something else that is EASY to fix and has nothing to do with the “story” you’ve created around your failure
I want you to take a deep breath right now and open yourself up to this new reality. It’s not YOU that’s the problem. It’s something else — something outside of yourself and something that’s easily fixable.
How does that feel?
What if THAT was the truth? Not these Big Fat Internet Marketing lies you’re most likely telling yourself right now?
So, do you want to hear MY take on the Top 3 Big Fat Internet Marketing lies are? I’ve created a 3-part video series with the co-founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School Christine Arylo and Amy Ahlers. Here’s the link: http://www.michelepw.com/bigfatlies/
We’d like for you as a business owner to start thinking a little like a Deli.
What do you your customers want that you aren’t currently selling?
How many times have you been asked for something by a client, only to have to say ‘no’ and moved on to the task of trying to drum up more business?
- Increase the total number of customers you have.
- Increase the pride of what you sell.
- Or increase the amount of money each customer spends with you.
Of these, the last one is most often the quickest way to increase your income and you can start by asking a single question: What would your current customers buy from you – today – if you only sold it?
Making more money really isn’t hard if you’re able to think of yourself as in the business of satisfying desires.
Take a moment to integrate the idea that struggle is not a requirement of a business. Even the most successful business owners, when they’re trying to grow, can run into the idea that they ‘must work hard to make more money’. So don’t take for granted that you ‘get it’ before you pause for one more moment.
What requests have you had for additional products or services from your current customers? Which ones are you most interested in providing – directly or indirectly?
How could you satisfy your customer’s desires simply by repackaging an existing offering? There is a reason why there are dozens of types of cheese in the dairy section of the supermarket. What can you learn about repackaging from the cheese department in the grocery store?
I’d like to know what will you integrate, add or repackage in your business to satisfy the desires of your clients. Share your thoughts with me here.
Feature Article | Why Your Launch Isn’t Working (As Well As You’d Like) And Your Stuff Isn’t Selling (As Much As You’d Like)
It’s a wonderful day in the business: you’ve created a NEW THING and are about to release it to the world. Whether it be a new summer menu at a restaurant, a 6-week telecourse, an person-training or, the proverbial lemonade stand on a new street corner, this should be a great day, right?
But launch day, or selling your wares on any day for that matter, often comes with the entrepreneurial version of post-traumatic stress. Too much effort, not enough result. What’s happening? Here are a few reasons to review, then change, but only if you seek a different result.
1. Less is more.
Too much information, already! People aren’t going to buy just to make you stop droning on, verbally or in writing. Make ONE point clearly, move on. Next time, make another point. And then…enough said.
2. It’s too serious.
Adult education (no, not THAT kind!) needs to entertain. Lighten it up, but also look for where you can counsel your market to lighten up as well. They’ll be relieved and grateful.
3. Do the opposite.
According to the Art of War, it pays to do exactly what your enemy doesn’t expect. Rather than fall into a thrall about what your competitors or colleagues are doing, what can you do that they would NOT expect?
In a bouquet of red roses, there’s a reason white Baby’s Breath is the most common companion. It contrasts.
4. Show, don’t tell.
Instead of telling the benefits, show them, if you can. Before and after stories. Use shorthand with case studies. (See #1)
5. You’re being stubborn about something.
Intense coaching in the last 3 months, I have so much real-life proof (aka ammunition) about this, it’s silly.
Your launch isn’t doing as well, and your stuff isn’t selling as much, because you are being a stick in the mud about SOMETHING. Holier than though? Disconnected to reality? Attached to doing it yourself? Feeling desperate about money? (And yes, I have my own self as evidence too.)
6. Deliver more (karmic deposits) to sell more (karmic withdrawal.)
In a fascinating turnaround of the concept of tithing, where certain individuals even claim to give away the dollar amount they want to EARN each month, look to your delivery. What clients, what services, what products are you set to deliver right now?
Set out to OVERDELIVER. Because wimping out on delivery (letting current clients down, or not fully earning the money you’ve already put in the bank?) is the best way to say you’re not really ready to sell more, just now.
7. Be nimble.
Lots of people say ‘be speedy.’ That works to an extent, but there’s a difference. The insight is that being SLOW does not serve. Sluggishness, taking forever to make one decision, all these things rob you of space you need to manoeuvre, do something again, try a tweak.
If you only have X time, and your thing is untested, you need to step lightly, keep moving, course correct, find what works, nimbly.
8. Get realer.
This one is a toughie. In a time when authenticity has become the plastic word-of-the-day, the succinct (see #1) way I’ll put this is…
Ask…. if a video camera were on you at any given moment in your life (especially when you’re not creating something for YouTube) would we see a different you from the one you want us to see?
How can that change? That’s where the untapped reserves of realness live. And by contrast to the plastic around us, the foresight here is that that’s what will be noticed.
9. Your offer is off.
The price point. The perceived value. Maybe who you’re selling that thing to. Maybe your thing is (sorry, but it’s possible) boring and sounds like everyone else. Something about the ‘it’ isn’t right.
This is a toughie to admit to, but you may as well do it early if you feel it. Admitting it later isn’t going to feel better, is it?
Your turn! Why – now that you’ve marinated in the above 9 – isn’t your launch working as well as you’d like, or your thing selling as much as you’d like?
I left #10 open just for you. Because I know you have the muscles to play with the formula. Try it:
Foresight + Insight + Action = Business Success Through Thought Leadership.
What insight do you now have about this question, which everyone goes through, at one point or other?
Feature Article | Seeking the Minimum Level (Excerpted from the Money, Meaning and Beyond Book, Chapter 18)
People are creatures of habit.
After hearing the same lessons about business for so long, we can tend to accept them without questioning. After doing things the same way for so long, it can take a little shock treatment for us to stop.
However it’s important that we do, because far too many business owners are chronically tired and overworked, yet are still trying harder to do more with their energy and time.
The old way of thinking and old habits can be very costly – to both the success of your business, and your overall happiness.
May I ask:
Do you invest too much energy into tasks that aren’t worth it? Are you using a lot of time on a project that could be done with much less?
If you have a tack in front of you, you wouldn’t use a power tool to put it in, right? It would be a massive, disproportionately powerful tool to get the result you want.
This can be a difficult one, but try to develop an awareness of how to apply just the right amount of energy and resources to the appropriate tasks.
If you’re used to providing a full-fledged proposal for a client, would a two-page summary work just as well? Do you send over five possible ideas for how to ‘redo the living room’ when 3 would be equally delightful to your clients?
When you write emails, do you always proofread and double-check before you send out? If you’re doing a series of follow-up calls that are administrative in nature, could an assistant do the trick?
You get the picture. Experiment with the minimum level.
Based on experience, we estimate business owners waste an average of 20-30% on tasks that would be just as gone and just as complete, if they’d leave well enough alone.
Seeking the minimum level definitely goes against the grain at first, because business owners are used to working hard, and racing to keep up.
Take a moment now to think of just one thing that you could work a lot less hard at to complete, or better yet, one thing you can take off your ‘To Do’ list entirely. Will you share? Please post your comments
Feature Article | Why People Are Afraid of Success (Excerpted from Lesson 56 in the ‘How to Coach Anyone’ Book)
Because success, while desirable, does come with significant risk.
Meaning they might ‘come back down’ after they ‘make it.’
Fear of loss is usually a more powerful feeling than the pleasure of success. (That’s important to know, and it explains why people don’t always do the cool/great things they could do.)
Because success can take on a life of its own.
Some folks are afraid of being consumed by their success or becoming the tail of the dog, where success wags them.
One can lose control of the ‘situation’, and that’s not a feeling that people like.
Because success will force a change in a person’s source of energy.
If you’ve gotten used to the noise, smell, vibration and tug of an internal combustion engine, it’s quite unnerving to drive an electric car. Missing are the familiar feelings/sensations that come with an internal combustion engine.
The same is true of success. It’s eerie; it can be so quiet and unfamiliar. One gets suspicious. If nothing else, success is stressful, given it’s a fundamentally different feeling than striving.
Because success may redefine the person.
We all want to change a little bit perhaps, but how many of us truly want to be redefined? Yet that’s what success will do in many cases.
Success will have us see life very differently, we’ll be operating differently with perhaps a different group of people and our environments may well change substantially. True, the core of you may not change but just about everything else probably will. That’s scary!
Because success is a new territory.
Anything new/different is bound to prompt cautiousness, even success. Even if it’s something you’ve wanted your entire life.
New territories, as exciting as they are, still carry a degree of risk and someone who is risk adverse will slow down their success pace/track in order to feel safer. Just human nature.
Can you relate to these points? What will you do to eliminate fear of success in your future? Leave your comments below.
Suffice to say, the integration of the BODY, (physical health and movement) into all areas of business is coming…
As a forward-thinking entrepreneur, are you integrating this thoroughly into your plans on multiple levels? For example:
- Like the Wii Fit, 3-dimensional TV, movies and other video games…. are you learning from the entertainment industry about giving people a full-body experience of your service offering?
- Like airlines, new cars and RVs, and other transportation services… are you adapting to our increasing understanding of comfort through ergonomics, the use of space, and translating that into more income for your services?
- Like the most innovative coaching, consulting and teaching/information businesses, are you creating whole-body experiences such as music at your conference, a touch-pool of props for your video participants, tools your clients can literally touch while learning from you?
The tactile, physical realm is infiltrating many business sectors and will continue to do so…
Here are some immediate ways in which to apply something physical to your business…
If you’re already using video, ask how you can push the envelope and lead the pack – are you being intimate in your videos, creating real connection, or broadcasting? Are you just a talking head, or are you creating a real tv-like experience including detailed B roll footage? How are you invoking the sense of smell, taste and more through your visuals?
2. Address physical needs. This means more than offering a bio-break in the middle of the day.
Is the setting for your workshop as powerful as it could be? Are you giving people a carbohydrate dump with your well-intentioned Danish breakfast? Could your writing – book/blogpost/worksheet – be less of an eye-test and more delightful to read?
3. Address your language and mental orientation toward the physical world. Are you integrating the client as a whole person in your service?
What is your language giving away about any limits in your thinking here? A hotel can provide basic accommodations or it could provide rain gear on the west coast, foot-washing basins for the beach, motion-sickness assistance for the amusement park! We have an opportunity to acknowledge the physical experience our clients have in our business- are you taking it?
Are here are some immediate ways in which to integrate this to YOUR physical self not (just your business)…yes I mean that body of yours that’s sitting there reading right now, moving eyeballs left to right, heart beating, breath moving, perhaps smiling…
1. Read the Four-Hour Body. This is an extremely exciting and eye-opening book, one I will be recommending as essential reading to all clients this year. Better yet, don’t just read it, alternate reading a few pages with a walk or set of burpees. I predict you will be astonished by the time you’ve read a chapter, and will pay you the price of the book from my own pocket if you don’t. (Although he definitely has it, Tim doesn’t need my support, so this is just my way of making this point clear for you.)
2. Radically reconsider those New Year’s Resolutions about losing weight. If we try to get fitter in increments, it’s very difficult to sustain. A radical, perhaps even extreme approach to your physical health is often better. Plus, extreme can be simple. What is a BIG goal for your fitness you could get excited about? For me, it’s Stand Up Paddle Boarding in a competition this year. (If you heard my heart beat faster there, you’re really listening and I’m glad!)
3. Get support for this conversation. The integration of the BODY into all areas of business, in big and small ways requires more than your will power alone to enact… whether by requesting it of your current mastermind group, your board of advisors, or your coach, you have many options available. Will you be one of the business owners who seizes this window to be at the forefront of the conversation…perhaps to the dismay of others in your market? The evidence shows it will pay off – more than MANY other pursuits/investments – in both business and life.
What other ways can you apply this Megatrend? Comments, questions or debate?
And while we’re on this topic…we are gearing up to go much, much deeper into the #1 Megatrend for 2011++ for coaching and service businesses.
Do you want to integrate the BODY into your business for your clients and YOURSELF?
Would you like to effortlessly move gears – quickly – into understanding how important this trend is and will continue to be?
The Tour de Coach 3-day live workshop – including workouts, boot camp style, and the significant AHAs that derive from that body work is coming to you…
Feature Article | The Paul Principle: For Better or Worse, It’s All About You. (Excerpted from the Money, Meaning and Beyond Book, Chapter 26)
I see it frequently.
When people grow, their business grows. When people don’t, their businesses don’t. and sometimes, when businesses get inherited or acquired, the business will show a spurt or dive, based on the ethos of the new owner.
When opportunity knocks, are you ready?
If you knew you could have everything you wanted right now, would you know what to say?
Are you – your character, your development, your greater Self – ready?
If there is one thing I invite you to really embrace as you go about life in the next thirty days, it’s this. Work the Paul Principle. Make it work for you by:
- Saying NO to bland. Stand for something.
- Cultivating a vision. Get clear about what you believe and mean it. Lead.
- Conditioning yourself emotionally. You and your business will weather many ups and downs. Nurture your strength of spirit just like you work out your body for the great race.
- Articulate what you want and why. Don’t worry about how just yet.Being prepared to say a resounding ‘yes’ to help that wants to find you, and that many times, is sitting right on your doorstep.
Be diligent and unflinching about yourself and your growth. Start now in whatever shape or form that looks like to you.
Your success (financial and other) as a business owner is DIRECTLY linked to your ability to evolve yourself. It’s the Paul Principle and it’s at work in each and every one of us. Remember it.
How will you work the Paul Principle in your business over the next thirty days? Please post your comments here …I look forward to receiving them.
2. Make chaos your friend. The unexpected is a good thing as long as you’re open to it.
3. Let your environments do most of your evolutionary work for you. Evolution occurs as you adapt to such environments.
4. Use tolerations to your advantage. Every single thing you are putting up with is an opportunity waiting to be leveraged.
5. Constantly experience. Synchronicity is the reward.
6. Spend more time in nature. Nature nourishes and recalibrates our natural systems.
7. Become the host of a thriving network. Let your network evolve you as you serve them.
8. Continuously integrate all aspects of your life. Integration evolves you from being needlessly complicated to being richly complex.
9. Invest in your virtual environments, not just your physical environments. Life is becoming more virtual.
10. Design your sources of energy. You can then operate at a higher frequency.
11. Become superconductive. Reduce the energy you consume by 90% by reducing your resistance to life.
12. Master the evolving set of Cyber Skills. Extend your intelligence by connecting with everyone.
13. Surround yourself with people who are eagerly evolving. They spark you. You spark them. Evolution occurs effortlessly.
14. Stop resisting.
15. Assimilate events the first time they occur.
Which way will you choose to quickly and easily support the changes you want to make?
Here’s a question I’ve received from several of my clients: “I’ve made a name for myself and am earning pretty darned good money, but I’m still exhausted and feel blue. I don’t feel like doing anything new in my business. What should I do, Andrea?”
“In your business, you are the proverbial golden goose. You’d take really good care of a golden goose, wouldn’t you?”
May I ask you a question?
Are you taking really good care of YOUR golden goose? This includes exercising it, nourishing it and even challenging it regularly.
If your answer is yes, is there room for you to take even better care of your golden goose?
If no, what will you do differently to support greater care? Will you embrace the teachings – even ones outside of your ‘norm’ to help you not only develop your business, but yourself also?
There’s an opportunity for you to strengthen your Golden Goose in both body and mind at the Tour de Coach live event.
Read more about how it make you a better person and a better business owner >> www.TourdeCoach.com There’s still time to register for the early bird pricing and 3 payment option but note these expire on January 18th!
5 Qualities Needed to Make, and Sustain, a Significant Change | Excerpted from the How to Coach Anyone Book, Lesson 40
For significant behavior change to occur, the client needs these five things in ample supply:
Willingness in terms of being open, not only to changing their behavior/attitude, but to making changes to thinking, behavior, physical and intangible environments, sources of energy/motivation, paradigms, assumptions, frameworks, and the like. Willingness is FAR more than just saying “I really, really want to change X.”
Readiness in terms of being available or prepared for what is called for to effectuate the change, either internal or external. Someone who is ready, is likely to do something significant. It’s quite possible to be ready yet not willing.
Ableness in terms of having sufficient power, strength, force, skill, intelligence, creativity, genes, means talent or resources of any kind to accomplish the objective. A lot of clients are willing to make changes to be successful and they are available/ready for it, but lack the means (ableness) to reach that objective.
Havingness in terms of a person being able to accept and handle, and most importantly, maintain/sustain the success that finds them. Thing of the lottery winner who goes through the million in less than 2 years. Many of us have emotional ‘set points’ that ‘limit’ our ability to be successful and maintain that success.
Desire in terms of passion, very strong wanting, an urgency for something; either to make a change or to have a result. Desire can work either way: Either a desire for the end result or a desire for the ‘absence of” the problem/current behavior/situation.
Based on these five items above – how ready are you for change? Please share your thoughts below.
Perhaps these qualities above relate also relate to the area of sports coaching more than we realize. Join me and David Goldsmith on Thursday to learn more about the 5 Principles From Sport Every Life/Business Coach Needs to Know. Learn more at http://tourdecoach.com/preview-call/
Somehow, some way, you are surviving without more money. Yet you are still complaining, or worrying, or not sleeping at night because of it.
Either stop worrying about it because you’re clearly making it somehow, or – come to realize it is truly serious and do something about it.
A case study to consider:
A professional trainer told us he was in a ‘very bad’ financial situation in his business. He needed to earn $5000 in the next 2 months or he would go out of business.
We asked him, “What is the fastest path to making money today?”
He replied, “Maybe I’ll create a new program and see if it sells.”
We repeated the question. “What is the fastest path to making money – TODAY?”
What your fastest path to making money – TODAY? I look forward to reading your posts.
I know, with the holidays upon us, the last thing we need is another sweet, right? But this is too good a fresh combination to ignore.
Peanut butter cups are an important analogy for business owners who want to stand out from their competition. To get heard by your customers and find NEW customers, it’s critically important to find fresh combination’s for your business.
Maybe you’re a car wash owner who now also offers dog washing. (The setup is the same, so why not?)
Maybe you’re a workshop leader who now also simulcasts your events around the world. (You’re already leading the event, so why wouldn’t you scoop up the extra registration income, right?)
Or are you a lemonade stand who now also delivers the lemonade from car to car in the lineup to get on the ferry, instead of waiting for customers to come to you?
Sometimes it’s the simplest of new combination’s that bring the biggest business breakthroughs. Once you start looking for the Peanut Butter Cup principle of business, you will start to see it everywhere…
Here are just 5 short slices of fresh wisdom from the sport world that are important for you to absorb for your business. They’re going to be part of an ongoing discussion and learning for business owners in 2011:
1. In sport, measuring is key. Everything is measured so it can be improved.
In ice dancing, how do the athletes know if they’ve improved? They can’t, if they haven’t measured every jump, every turn, every routine. If they didn’t care about improvement, well, they wouldn’t measure!
You care about improvement in your business, right? So…measurement — the statistics, if you would, of your business, are vital. If your business had a baseball card to its name, what would it say?
2. In sport, overexercising is killer. Working TOO hard is as bad as working too little.
Actually, it’s worse. Working TOO hard looks just like you aren’t working hardly at all. Think about it. Burnout, in your business, looks like you’re being a lazy slob, doesn’t it? So why burn yourself out? Why not instead work just enough to produce the result?
In sport, coaches and athletes concern themselves a GREAT deal about working too much, because there is so much at stake. Working too much today, or playing too hard in tonight’s game, could sacrifice the entire season and the run-up to championship!
You don’t see Lance Armstrong courting burnout during practice for a reason.
3. The big goal is essential. Not having a goal is anathema to a business.
You got out of ho-hum, so-what, I’m punching a time-clock work so you could experience something different, right? So why are you – a little or a lot – feeling that ho-hum-ness in your business?
Could it be because you haven’t locked onto that big goal that makes you sit up and focus?
Do you think Olympic athletes would train as hard, be as dedicated, or as clear-eyed if they weren’t an Olympian? There’s a difference there that’s important to business owners.
What else can you learn from sport that would enrich your business? How deep does the analogy go? Can we squeeze more juice and smarts from the way we run our businesses by listening to the coaches of great athletes and championship players in all walks of life?
And click here to visit the Tour de Coach event information page, where we go deeper into the discussion about the Peanut Butter Cup of YOUR BIZ (Peanut butter) and Sport (chocolate). Be sure to watch the videos – especially the ones where Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong’s coach, speak out!
Fly the Coaching Banner High | Great Coaching Deserves High Praise – Are You Generating Your Best Coaching Results and Are Your Clients Raving About You Yet?
Endorsements of coaching are not heard often, it seems, but when they are accorded, they are high praise indeed.
Have you ever wondered why that is? Could it be because as coaches, we’ve played it safe until now? Could we stand to aim for the fences and knock it out of the park far, far more, with each of our individual coaching clients?
The following collection of mini-banners is free ware for your use on websites, in print promotions, or elsewhere (except resale for profit.) Fly the banner high and proudly, won’t you?
At the top of a blank piece of paper, write the words ‘My Money Game’ and make a note of the date.
My goal for the business is to earn $ ___________ in the next 12 months.
Now sit back for a moment, and consider your financial goal for the next 12 months.
If we take the figure $120,000 as an example, thinking about building your business may feel pretty daunting.
But when you break down a single large financial goal into chunks, things instantly become more achievable and your chances of success are immediately much higher.
So consider this:
- If 100 people pay you $100 each month for something, that’s $10,000 per month or $120,000 over the course of the year.
But if you don’t sell anything – yet – for $100 a month. Alright, try this on for size:
- If 100 people pay you $39, that’s $3900 per month or $46,800 over the course of the year.
Based on the size of your current newsletter list, customer databank, or existing customer list, if 50 seems like a more reasonable number than 100, simply substitute the numbers.
When forecasting the revenue for your business using the Money Game … you can use a slide rule for each of the pertinent numbers.
How will you break down your targets so that you reach your yearly goal? Tell us how playing the ‘Money Game’ has helped you.
You’re probably familiar with the television sitcom called ‘Seinfeld’. Whether you’ve watched the show once or too many times, you probably remember that one of Jerry Seinfeld’s friends was a character named George Constanza.
George was one of those people who couldn’t do anything right. In his thirties, he still lived at home, had no job, no relationship and was losing the rest of his hair.
Nothing every worked out for George. He had so much promise yet his life was the opposite of everything he wanted it to be.
Sound familiar? We all have our ‘George’ days, when we feel like we’re getting nowhere, and we don’t know what to do about it. We feel miserable and unworthy, useless and helpless. We feel like George.
When you’re stuck, spinning your wheels, or just generally feeling thwarted by life, stop pushing your energy in the same stuck direction.
Instead, try the opposite. Close your eyes for just one moment and visualize yourself turning around. Now, open your eyes.
You might be surprised at what looks you in the face.
Do you have a ‘George’ day here and there? Tell us about it – how did you turn yourself around?
As I process questions about the efficacy of coaching, handle push-back, or even take criticism, I like to test myself against what’s said and tweak or refine. It’s a little like a ‘living code of conduct’ and one of my most fundamental tools for growth.
In no particular order:
(1) Be responsible. First, last and foremost – do no harm.
As simple a baseline as this is for any coach, it’s still one worth noting. I find this one grounds me when I read it as I do from time to time – and helps me take a light touch in sessions.
Have you asked yourself lately, how responsible (or irresponsible) are you being in your coaching? Are you going out on a limb and taking unnecessary risks? Even if they’re just words to you, what you say and do, how you ‘are,’ in your sessions can have a lifelong impact. So these are words to live by – even if you think ‘you know.’ First, do no harm.
(2) Come to understand all clients will be ‘done’ one day.
There are short client relationships, and long client relationships. But no client relationship is forever. I like to look into the future a little and ‘wonder’ when a certain client may be ‘done’ and ready to move on, having grown out of our relationship. Not anticipate or force, mind you, just wonder…
Or, if I don’t sense a feeling of ‘completion’ forthcoming with a client, I ask what’s going on in the coaching that’s lending us such a degree of ‘comfort.’ I don’t doubt it’s possible to have a coach-client relationship that’s alive and awake after 5, 10 or more years, but I feel strongly these are in the minority. For everything there is a season, and all that… so yes, I look forward to witnessing great milestones in my clients’ lives, and to saying a happy adieu.
Ask yourself “Are you in any way making efforts to keep your clients coming back?”
Do you know how to say goodbye to a client when it *is* time to say goodbye?*
(3) Cultivate self-sufficiency always. Be a no-addiction zone.
There is a huge world of a difference between marketing your services successfully, then securing a client as a result and ….creating an addictive relationship. Yet sometimes the differences can get blurry.
This is one of the reasons why it’s critically important that coaches are never desperate for a client…the dynamic is instantly manipulative if that’s the case.
I remember a mentor coach who I shadowed at the very beginning of my introduction to coaching. I had a visceral aversion to the way he seemed to revel in his clients’ dependency…he would answer emails at all hours, always return phone calls, sometimes within a few minutes, encourage clients to be in touch very frequently…
On the face of it, this may seem like a strange thing to dislike…but I’m a fan of drawing out more self-sufficiency in a client. So I set it up that way – clients know I won’t always reply quickly – they get a chance to think over their own questions. My answer comes more as an affirmation or addition to their own thoughts – but this way the key result is: they learn to think more assertively for themselves, and I’m the environment that supports that.
How might you be creating – even in a tiny way – a dependency on you in your clients? How can you embody tough love – the kind of love that creates strong individuals who don’t need anything outside their own inner strength to continue on the path they’ve discovered? How might your financial situation be influencing how you relate to your clients?
(4) Focus on results, not just methodology or process.
Although results don’t have to be money, or a promotion, relationship or other tangible thing, do ask yourself what intangible results you are creating. The best way to do this is still (only) to request your clients’ self-assess.
Many clients may not realize they have the right to always be assessing your coaching relationship. You can help them by making sure they know they can always ask for tweaks, more focus, greater intensity or, indeed, whatever it is they want more of.
Coaching is not a ‘holding pattern.’
(5) Encourage critical thinking.
Have you ever wondered why so many of us use our brains as storage facilities not thinking facilities? We go to conferences, listen to tapes, even read books with the goal of retaining as much as possible. This is not the original purpose for the human brain.
So first, think about how you might have stopped thinking critically about things, instead of just trying to remember things. And then, up the ante and ask how you can support your clients to think for themselves.
Most clients, as they articulate what they want and make choices about their lives, may not be thinking for themselves. Instead, they’re thinking what everyone around them is thinking. Or perhaps even more frequently, thinking what people around them are telling them to think.
So obviously you as their coach have no agenda for what they ought to think, but you are asking them to think. Make sense?
(6) Be aware of your own persuasive powers. Triple check your marketing.
Although I don’t remember the precise incident, I do remember the feeling – it thudded into my physical body. I realized that with the way I try to live my life, and the things I try to stand for, when I try to sell something, I need to be careful.
I realized, if I were to try hard enough, I could probably sell almost anything to anyone. And I do believe that’s true of many, many coaches, just because of how ‘in integrity’ most of us live our lives.
That’s not arrogance, it’s just a reflection of the kinds of relationships we create – we care, and it usually shows, and people feel they can trust us. So while I would never intentionally sell something inappropriately to anyone, this is important – I triple check my marketing. (1) I make doubly sure I’ve told the truth. (2) I ask myself if I’ve overpromised anything. And (3) I make sure what I’m selling is something that will add value.
After all of that is done, I usually dial back my marketing language by 5-10%. It’s just something that ‘feels right’ to do because there’s enough marketing noise out there and I’m not interested in having to market anything ‘hard.’ It’s kind of like a commitment to making sure anyone who purchases something from me is doing so with as clear a head as possible.
Note: For a portion of the coaching population, this one won’t apply because you’re actually having to learn to market enough – so don’t hold back if that’s you. But you know who you are – if you seem to be able to sell most anything to anyone – take a moment now to ask why, and if your conscience is clear about this ‘talent.’
(7) Very few things are all good or all bad. There’s really no such thing as all black or all white.
Over the years I’ve lived through some tough business situations where some pretty big tomatoes were thrown. It would be easy even now to think horrible things about some people. But the truth is, after my emotions are cooled off, I know that no one is all good or all bad, least of all me.
So instead of using up energy ‘hating’ a person or situation, or soaking in upset, I try to pull back and recognize there’s no such thing as black or white. No single person, place or thing is all good or all bad.
Practically speaking then, how can you apply this to your life as a coach? Let’s say a little criticism comes your way.
When someone hurls an insult at you, try to divide it by three before letting it in.
And conversely when a compliment comes, multiply by three and repeat the words to yourself before letting that in too.
(8) Contribute to a body of ethics or standards of conduct.
I’ve been asking myself this question more often lately, especially on creative hiatus this month. Within the self-help and coaching professions, how can I help forward the idea that we can hold ourselves accountable? There is more and more activity being done under the ‘name’ of ‘coaching’ some of it not so great.
So in an unregulated industry, how can we seize the singular opportunity we have, to hold ourselves to the highest level of integrity?
Whether it be at our industry associations such as the IAC and/or the ICF, or on our own through our own professional codes of conduct or even personal lists like this one, how can we answer to the critics in a positive way?
As the answers emerge, we become more equipped to calmly and intelligently answer any positive push-back that might come our way.
I hope this list of things I try to live by, helps you create your own.
Overt criticism or no, I can think of nothing more useful and comforting – invigorating and energizing – than to know where I stand and how I feel about these 8 things (over and above coaching skill, technique or experience.)
For better or for worse, when it comes to serving my clients, this is what’s going on in the background. And what I try to live by as an active practicing coach.
Do you have children or a husband or wife? To get the impact of this wisdom nugget, picture in your mind a significant person – or even pet – in your life.
Maybe you asked them to, ‘get your boots on or you’ll be late for school.’
Or, ‘the faucet is still leaking honey, would you have a look and see if we need to call a plumber?’
Now for the million -dollar question: How many times did you have to ask, before you got what you wanted?
If you said 5, 6 or even 7 times, you are not alone. And because you know how this feels, you’re going to be great at translating this skill into your business.
We call it the ‘Art of Being a Loving Nag.’ And if you put your heart into it for the benefit of your business, you can create 5, 6, and even 6 figure results – no exaggeration.
- My Ping Pong Club – the Calgary United Senior Table Tennis Association, CUSSTA for short – recently held their Annual General Meeting. As with many recreational clubs, the meeting coincided with one of the biggest money-making events, a silent auction.
- All members received the minutes a week before, in the form of a 12-page double-sided tome, “How on earth,” thought I, “will they get ANYone to attend?”
- Of course, they did. I was really quite impressed. They lovingly nagged me by mail, by phone, in person, the week prior when I went into the club, and again by phone. Each time, the reminder came with another reason it would benefit me to attend – there would be refreshments; practice time would be no charge that day; member ID cards would be distributed with our new photos.
In the end, I counted over 60 in attendance and the silent auction appeared a success – the club’s financial well-being looked assured for another year.
You can replace this kind of result by wrapping your head around the benefit – to your business AND to your clients – of being a loving nag. In fact, you can apply the loving nag theory to any promotion you do in your business.
Even if you’re shy, just thinking about following through as the art of lovingly nagging could be the breakthrough you’re looking for.
Start brainstorming about how you can profitably- and perhaps even enjoyable – be a ‘loving nag’ in your business. Will you do me a favor and post your ideas on my blog?
1. The client is making very slow, if any, progress
Many clients won’t be as quick to learn and implement what they are learning from you, so they’ll seem slow, relative to you. Remember it took YOU time to absorb and learn key principles and strategies; give them this time.
2. The client doesn’t do what they said they’d do
Well, that’s why they are clients! Seriously, this happens a lot. It can be frustrating to the coach because you believed your client. First step for you is to stop believing your clients until they’ve proven that they are the type of person to keep their word. Do an internal check before accepting their promise; if you take a moment, you can usually fell how serious they are.
3. The client misses calls, is flakey about being on time
Sorry, but if you’re getting upset about this, that’s your doing, not the client’s. Why? Because it all comes down to having policies about this sort of thing and making sure that your clients are fully aware of any consequences if they are late or miss a call.
4. The client complains a lot
Some people are just complainers by nature. I ask them if they know they are complaining a lot about things, life, relationships, situations, themselves, me, the coaching etc. Most have NO idea how negative they are. They are usually grateful to you for pointing this out.
5. The client is demanding too much of your energy/time
Some clients need/want your personal energy, not just your intelligence, wisdom or expertise. The moment you pick up the phone when this type of client calls in you can feel a whooooosh of energy flow from you to them. I used to think this was a bad thing, but then I realized that it wasn’t a problem for me because what was depleting me wasn’t the fact that they were ‘taking’ my energy, but that I was feeling responsible for their success.
As most coaches come to realize at some point in their development, any reaction/frustration you’re having relative to clients is 100% about you and virtually never about the client.
It’s a fantastic time to solve this frustration. What can you learn from our non business coaching colleagues and implement into your business to eliminate these problems and frustrations moving forward?
Tell me, what do you hope to learn and also remove from your business in order to provide the level and flavor of coaching your clients most want?
I never imagined this would come to pass, but it was me who made the blunder, so I can tell you first hand it happened like this:
Man: “I’ve been coaching for 12 years.”
Me: “Oh! Are you a life coach or business coach…?”
Man (sour face): “No, I coach High School Basketball.”
Me: “Oh, so sorry. I mean…I’m not sorry, I just didn’t mean to…never mind.” (Blush.)
It wasn’t until just this week when I realized this exchange represented a significant tipping point. It used to be that we non-coaches would put up a big fuss, remember that?
“I’m not a sport coach! I’m a Life coach.”
And now the tables have turned. Obviously there aren’t any statistics, but I would imagine that the case of mistaken identity goes both ways in fairly equal numbers these days. What a wonderful thing.
Isn’t it still VERY odd, in some ways, that as life and business coaches, we’ve kept our distance from the world of sport, shunning it in pursuit of a cure for our identity crisis?
Now that we’ve become one of the most widely accepted new group of helping professionals, what if…
We didn’t rest on our laurels, but actively sought to over-deliver on the promise that comes with our profession? “What promise is that, Andrea?” you might ask. Well, it may vary a little from coach to coach, but being a coach, my promises include:
- Working with me, together we will play a big game (or games) of your choosing, for high stakes, and with intensity.
- As your coach, I will not only listen well before and after your big life events, I will be present, in the action, real-time.
- Your life and/or business will get measurably better, more quickly.
- I will help protect you from costly mistakes, such as overwork, false hope, overspending and inner blocks.
- My experience through life’s challenges becomes your experience. My experiments, your laboratory.
If I do my job very well, our work will cause you to be proud to call me your Coach. And over time, my reputation as a coach will grow.
The thing is, the language I’ve used with coaching clients has changed in the years I’ve been called ‘Coach.’ I’ve become a much stronger critic of myself, and more demanding of my own coaches, by far. It feels good.
A NEW Problem has arisen
As life and business coaching has gained prominence, a new problem has arisen. As much as it puts a crack in my heart, it’s become not uncommon to hear “I worked with a coach. S/he sucked.” And behind closed doors, sometimes in coaching sessions with me, I hear:
“I feel like I don’t know how to coach well.”
“How did you just do that? I want to know how to coach MY clients that way.
“There’s just something missing that I can’t grasp, I feel like my clients aren’t getting anyplace.”
Are you feeling these things, or similar, too?
Have you wondered if there is any other future ahead for coaching, or is the bright hopeful future all behind us, now that we’re well known and TV features “coaching” so often? Is what we see there really coaching?
The World of Sport Coaching Comes Back and Forgives Us
Even though we spurned it for so long, the world of sport coaching nowappears ready to collaborate with us again.
Fellow long-time coach and coaching industry leader, David Goldsmith says “For too long we’ve said – no we’re not sport coaches – and that’s just nonsense.”
What David has discovered is an Aladdin’s Cave of wisdom, starting with key distinctions that can help solve the new problem of poor quality coaching.
From the sport world, we have so many distinctions that can assist us, it’s like a constellation filled with shooting stars:
Distinction #1: Sport coaches are on the field when the athletes are playing the games, or running the races. Life coaches, traditionally, have talked about the ‘big thing’ in the client’s life. They will talk about it before the thing, and after the thing, but seldom are they actually on the field in real-time.
Yet, when I shadowed clients around the world in 2010 as they launched their six-figure revenue streams, standing in the room with them, making the slightest of adjustments at the precise moment of occurrence…what magical, hands-on, real-time coaching. Almost like Bill Walsh head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
As David put it, “My coach Daniel helped me achieve much more than I could before. And that’s on my bicycle. What about in other areas of life? What if life and business coaches could have that effect with their clients?”
How can we non-sport coaches presence ourselves more fully into our clients lives?
In addition to the above distinction, there are many more, including the principles of rest and recovery, intensity, practice, the importance of measurement, strategic training that generates better results with less work.
Smart Words From Chris Carmichael, Author of the Time-Crunched Athlete and coach to Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, 3-time Olympian George Hincapie & former World Champion Dede Demet-Barry
“Overtraining looks a lot like undertraining.”
Stop for a moment and let that one sink in, as it’s a pretty deep one.
Side note: This is now one of my most beloved gems of wisdom, discovered in the sport coaching world, that applies neatly and firmly to my work as with coaching clients, and makes me a better, more insistent advocate-coach.
“Tour de France” – the ride of all rides – for cyclists in the world >> inspires “Tour de Coach” – the training of all trainings for life and business coaches
“Tour de Coach in February 2011 has inspired me to get back to Masters level swimming…”
“It’s so exciting – I can feel my shoulders drop in relief at this alternative to ho-hum coaching.”
In a tip of the hat to Chris Carmichael and his coaching of too many athletes to count, David Goldsmith and I have birthed >>
Tour de Coach, a 3 day training experience that
…involves activating the sport metaphor inside you
…the integration of physical activity (supervised, safe and stimulating) and…
…weaving the breakthroughs from that activity back to your coaching skills toolbox.
In Tucson, Arizona, Chris Carmichael himself and his team of trained sport coaches will be joining us to train, teach and coach you for 3 powerful days.
Using an innovative new ‘sport camp’ component each day where you will choose from cycling, swimming, running, aerobics and walking/yoga… there is nothing staid or ‘sit down’ about this training. Yet through this:
- You will strengthen your coaching skills through observation of sport-inspired coaching demos in real time, and integration of key sport coaching principles.
- You will learn new sport coaching business models through candid discussion – what worked, what didn’t, for Chris Carmichael as he built a multiple location, multiple coach business called Carmichael Training Systems?
- You will receive tools for your clients to support them in pursuit of the big ‘games’ in their lives.
- You will gain confidence and conviction in your role as a coach who gets results.
In what is essentially 3 events in one, our goals will be for you to leave Tour de Coach a better coach, a better business person and better at a sport of your choosing.
If you are wondering, at this point, if this might be too much for you, or you’re the person who feels the need to ‘floss your teeth for a week before going to the dentist.’ This is not an ego-driven ‘look at me’ training.
As Chris says explicitly in the video at www.TourdeCoach.com, everyone is an athlete, only some are in training and some are not, and every athlete starts somewhere.
We have taken great care to design an environment to meet you where you’re at. You only need to bring your desire, commitment to integrate the wisdom from sport into your life as a coach.
A Coach of Olympic Athletes + A Founding Leader in the Coaching World + A Leading Business Coach and Author = A very pricey proposition?
No. We are, simply put, obsessed with providing value, perhaps to a fault. We figure it’s better than the other way around.
But seriously, this event is comparable to any event in the coaching and online training world, NOT 3 times as expensive, even considering we’ll be providing bicycles, swimming pool, onsite coaches each day, etc.
It’s being held in accessible Tucson in an invigorating venue at very reasonable hotel rates.
Because of the equipment and hands-on coaching we’ll be providing in partnership with Carmichael Training Systems, seating is limited.
Be among the first to register and receive a gift of follow-on coaching in group format to literally, ‘bring your learning home.’
Early bird pricing is in effect for a little while longer. Click here to discover more.
As you consider this invitation, David and I, as collaborators in this new offering, hope you will consider the fundamental question facing coaching now:
Are you the best coach you can be, creating the very best results for your clients you think you can?
If you answered “no” or “I’m not sure” to the above, what are you doing about it, coach?
We can’t wait to see who takes us up on the challenge to forge an undeniable reputation for yourself as a kick-butt coach that creates results.
P.S. David is an avid cyclist who says his coaching skills have gone sky-high since pursuing cycling. Andrea loves kickboxing and kayaking and, in the middle of the launch of Tour de Coach is taking a mini-sabbatical to go to Belize and Kayak/camp for 8 days. It’s the principles of rest, recovery, intensity and having big goals at work!
We are exceedingly proud to partner with Carmichael Training Systems and Chris Carmichael to produce the world’s first training of this kind. Thank you to the CTS coaches and Chris for this ground-breaking partnership!
On behalf of your clients, all of whom get better results in what they’re doing, and who they’re being when YOU become a better coach…here is Thomas’ article on developing a coaching edge.
The Edge is several things…
In other words, you have something more important to do than coddle your clients. Or be bored by their lack of commitment. Or impatient with their success cycle. You’ve gotten to a certain place in your life, not just in your coaching, where you’re just not that interested in the excuses, stories and wavering that clients tend to come with.
2. The Edge means having a very sensitive b.s. detector.
I am NOT one to call the client on their b.s. It’s my view that that approach is a power trip and not professional. However, I can/do detect inconsistencies in what the client is saying (and/or how they are saying it) and I do point those out, gently, simply, easily, fearlessly and in what’s called a ‘charge neutral’ tone, meaning there’s no ‘charge’ to my voice. It’s a clean communication. And it’s part of what the client is paying me for.
3. The Edge means having an opinion and sharing it.
Some coaches receive training from schools where they are taught that the client has all of the answers and that the coach should suppress the coach’s opinion so as to not get in the way of the client’s process.
This approach works for about 10% of the clients out there which means most of these coaches don’t have very full practices and I think this is a shame. It’s my view that a key part of why clients hire a coach is to hear the coach’s opinion about the client’s goals, situation, problem, dynamic or lifestyle.
Like it or not, the edgier, stronger coaches are the most financially successful.
Read the full article and tell us – how are you developing the Edge? How will it help you attract more clients?
I’d like to ask you the question again if I may … even though it may be hard, take the question seriously for a moment.
How can you get 10 times the result with half the amount of effort?
It seems paradoxical, but the very act of asking an outlandish question like this can open us up to new possibilities. In this case, we begin to sense that somewhere, there may be a path that we haven’t discovered yet. One that allows us to get more of what we want, whether that be more time, results, meaning, money or something else entirely.
One thing we seem to know for sure is the path is very likely NOT a straight line. There’s NO logical progression from point A through point Z.
No, there’s a less linear way of looking at the issue of getting more done in less time.
The invitation here is this:
Reconsider how you can do more with what you’re already doing. And in doing so, recognize you’re getting a lot more done than you think. The thing is, getting more results with less effort doesn’t have to be hard.
Yes, it seems odd, but relax a moment and see what happens. Relaxed is the best state to be in if you’re going to try and transform an old way of thinking.
The thing is, getting more results with less effort doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s an example:
- Let’s say you’re roasting a chicken; one of those wonderful activities that shines a light on things that matter: a great meal, conversation, laughter and family.
- While you’re roasting a chicken … what else can you think is happening inside the oven?
- If you said gravy’s getting made, you’re right. When you’re roasting a chicken, even though you’re not making any extra effort, you’re also making gravy by catching the drippings in a pan.
- But – this is true only if you recognize the value of the gravy. (Some people miss this, and throw out great gravy, right? That’s because they’re so single-mindedly focused on roasting chicken.)
With this example in mind, let’s try the invitation again.
What if you are already getting a lot more done than you think?
This isn’t just a fancy way of describing multi-tasking either. It’s actually a shift in the way you look at what can be considered productive activity in your business.
What are some ordinary activities you do in your business, that bring with them unexpected gravy?
How can you create more results with the same (or less) amount
of effort? And how can these benefit you in your life, business and health?
As a leading business owner in your field, you might realize the unexpected truth that you’re further than you think in finding ways to ‘make gravy’ in your business.
Words of Wisdom from Thomas Leonard | Are you known for being a strong, no-holds barred, get-results coach?
The following is an excerpt from an article written by Thomas Leonard called “How to Strengthen Your Reputation as a Coach: From Wimpy to Edgy” originally published in Today’s Coach, and one of the most popular articles of his writing career.
“The most common requests are for ‘strong’ coaches.”
And not just experienced or skilled coaches, but coaches with either a strong personality or what I call having “the Edge.” And, I’ve never met a very successful coach who didn’t/doesn’t have this Edge.
As you develop this Edge, you will begin to attract more clients and keep the clients you have, longer. For whatever reason, the Edge works. And the marketplace will either dub you a ‘nice person/nice coach’ or a coach who can make something happen, because they have the Edge.
“Like it or not, the edgier, stronger coaches are the most financially successful.”
To read the full article, go here.
Tour de Coach | Uplevel Your Coaching Skills, Power Up Your Business and Get Your Body Cookin’ in 3 Game-Changing Days
Suffice to say, the concept and content of Tour de Coach are of such calibre that I am thrilled to bits to share.
I’ve been waiting for a project like this to make itself known, for years…
There’s enough marketing hype around these parts too, right? Which is why simple often cuts through the noise.
Registration is now open for this 3-day, action-oriented live training – including multiple sessions with Chris Carmichael at the front of the room – 3 boot-camp style training sessions with Carmichael sport coaches, and more…details at www.tourdecoach.com…
Until December 16, there is a 3-payment option available that also includes a high-intensity post-event call to prevent ‘I forgot what I learned at the event-ITIS’ and bridge your learnings to your home environment.
Because this is a new concept, and there is so much powerful wisdom in the sport world to share with business owners who are on the leading edge, I’ll be writing more about this in the coming weeks. But in the low key, value-added manner that I hope you’ve come to rely on here.
If you’re interested in becoming a better coach, a better business person and a better physical person…learn more about this event here: www.TourdeCoach.com. Enjoy!